Whether you’re planning a fun family trip to Pennsylvania or want to tell your kids all about the chocolate capital of the United States, this article is for you.
Discover fun facts about the state of Pennsylvania. There’s quite a mixture to keep kids entertained. Topics range from food items known to the area to tourism and attractions, plant and animal wildlife, sports history, and even electronics.
So, learn over 30 fun facts about Pennsylvania that your kids will love. Some may surprise you!
- Fun Food Facts
- Tourism Fun Facts
- Bicycle Fun Facts
- Grape Juice Fun Facts
- Dinosaur Fun Facts
- Wildlife Fun Facts
- State Fun Facts
- Sports Fun Facts
- Electronic Fun Facts
- Random Fun Facts
- Final Thoughts
Fun Food Facts
Let’s dive into the tastiest known fun facts, which originate in Pennsylvania.
Ketchup Fun Facts
In 1876, ketchup was revamped in Pittsburgh by Henry Heinz. Heinz had a goal in mind, which included creating ketchup without preservatives, unlike his competitors. Therefore, he opted to use simply vinegar. The ketchup was made with tomatoes and spices while keeping a certain quality standard.
Chocolate Fun Facts
Another food favorite is chocolate. The town of Hershey in Pennsylvania is not surprisingly the chocolate capital of the United States. Based on the name alone, you can see why, but the man behind the famous chocolate bar formulated a new version of milk chocolate.
By 1903, Milton Hershey started building the world’s largest chocolate manufacturing plant. A couple of years later, construction ended. From there on, chocolate became available to the masses through quick and efficient production.
Hershey’s milk chocolate became a popular choice right away. With significant success, Hershey became nationally marketed. In addition, milk is also the state beverage.
Aside from the classic staples, there are other famous Philadelphia food items, including:
- Soft pretzels
- Cheesesteak sandwiches
- Italian water ice, similar to snow cones
- Irish potato candy
Traditionally, there are also many Pennsylvania Dutch food items, including the following:
- Chicken pot pie
- Ham pot pie
- Raised doughnuts, also known as Fasnacht
- Schnitz un knepp, which are dried apples, dumplings, and ham
- Shoofly pie
Soda Fun Facts
A weird but fun fact belongs to a town in Pennsylvania, Hazelton. Drinking carbonated beverages is prohibited in school auditoriums. It’s a state law, and the rule applies to everyone, including teachers!
Tourism Fun Facts
Aside from tummy-grumbling facts, there are also many fun attractions in Pennsylvania.
Zoo Fun Facts
The Philadelphia Zoo was the first zoo in America which started in 1874. Benjamin Franklin founded the zoo, home to the first chimpanzee and orangutan births in the United States. It was also the first zoo to create an animal care center with formulated food specifically for zoo animals.
Now, the zoo is home to over 1,700 endangered zoo animals. In addition, the zoo includes award-winning programs, education, and animal exhibits. The zoo is complete with treetop trails and is a great place to explore with great views and scenery.
Fun Facts About the Crayola Experience
Speaking of exploring, you can also visit the Crayola Experience in Easton. The Crayola Experience has around 30 attractions, art, and activities.
The Crayola Experience has activities such as:
- The Chaos and Creativity Show
- Water Works
- Stomp and Play
- Adventure lab
- Activity studio
- Character meet and greets
- The Crayola store
- Crayon factory show
- Create and play
- Drip art
There are plenty of hands-on activities to learn about and enjoy depending on the time of year. The Crayola Experience is complete with an indoor playground and a cafe for a bite to eat.
Aside from the Crayola Experience, the actual Crayola factory is in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. The brand started in 1885, although the company’s name was Binney & Smith. In 1903, the name changed to Crayola and quickly started manufacturing high-quality crayons.
The original box contained eight colors, and now more than a hundred years later, you can buy the original box and dozens more. So the classic company sure has evolved throughout the years!
The factory produces over three billion crayons each year, and over 90% of all Crayola crayons come from the Lehigh Valley factory.
Fun Facts About Local Activities
For more adventure, the state has many fun-filled spots, such as Splash Lagoon, the largest indoor waterpark on the country’s eastern side. Other sites include:
- Sandcastle Waterpark
- Great Wolf Lodge
- Wildwater Kingdom
- Hershey Park
- Camel Beach
- Dutch Wonderland
There are dozens of amusement parks the whole family can enjoy.
Bicycle Fun Facts
Visiting the bicycle museum is an excellent option if you want a lighter pace. While located in Pittsburgh, Bicycle Heaven is the world’s largest museum dedicated to transportation. Many bikes are expensive, and some are worth more than $50,000. Bicycle Heaven is open and accessible to the public every day.
Grape Juice Fun Facts
The following fun fact is excellent for juice lovers. Welches has a grape processing plant in Erie, Pennsylvania, the largest processing plant in the United States, surrounded by vineyards.
Welches Inc., as a corporation, was founded in 1869 by Dr. Thomas Welch. The company is famous for concord grape jelly and grape juice.
However, the processing plant also produces:
- Frozen concentrates
The company has expanded over the years. Overall, the Pennsylvania plant processes around 300,000 grapes each year for consumers.
Dinosaur Fun Facts
If your kid loves dinosaurs, the following fun fact is for you. The first-ever Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton resides in the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh. Barnum Brown discovered the first T-rex in 1902 and moved years later to the museum in 1941.
The dinosaur skeleton is considered one of the best artifacts in condition and completion and the first known Tyrannosaurus Rex specimen.
Wildlife Fun Facts
Forests, trees, and plenty of wildlife surround Pennsylvania.
The state contains various trees, including:
- Red maple
- Eastern white pine
- The eastern hemlock
Wildflowers also roam, such as wild bergamot and wild bleeding heart.
There’s a wide variety of wild animals in Pennsylvania. Animals in the state include:
- Black and brown bears
- Red foxes
- Snow leopard
- Golden eagles
- Softshell turtles
Wildlife isn’t just for the animals. Pennsylvania contains excellent sights and over 120 state parks to see. But, of course, you can also view any of these parks for free, which is a perk for tourists.
With mountains, grassland, and cooler temperatures, abundant plant and animal wildlife are possible. It’s a perfect recipe for water, soil, protection, and a healthy ecosystem.
State Fun Facts
Pennsylvania holds interesting facts and symbols.
Fun Facts About State Animals and More
The state dog is the Great Dane, the state insect is the firefly, and the state cookie is the chocolate chip.
The state flower is the star-shaped mountain laurel. The flower blooms every spring with pretty white and pink coloring. While it’s pretty to the eye, it is also quite fragrant.
The eastern hemlock is Pennsylvania’s state tree. They are pretty slow-growing but are very common in forested areas. The tree takes around 300 years to mature but can survive more than 800 years.
Brook trust is a species of fish and is the state fish since they are native to Pennsylvania. The species gravitate towards clear, pure water. Did you know that Pennsylvania includes 4,000 miles of fresh streaming water?
The state motto is “Virtue, liberty, and independence.”
Inventions and Origins Fun Facts
The state is also the birthplace and first of the following:
- Declaration of Independence
- Roller coaster
- Movie theater
- Revolving door
- Stock exchange
- Commercial radio station
- Bubble gum
- Banana split
As you can see, Pennsylvania is a great place to visit for history and learn new facts.
Sports Fun Facts
Baseball has strong roots in Pennsylvania, one of the most beloved sports!
Baseball Fun Facts
Pennsylvania mixes history with classic pastimes, as the state constructed the first steel and concrete double-decked baseball stadium. In 1908 and established in Pittsburgh, Shibe Park became known as Forbes Field. Baseball legends like Babe Ruth played here, and the field eventually closed in 1970.
The first-ever Little League World Series occurred in 1946 at Williamsport. After that, Little League Baseball went from a few teams to around 200,000 decades later. Now, the league is offered in nearly all states and throughout different countries.
Football Fun Facts
If you’re a football fan, you’ll enjoy this fast. Pittsburgh is known for manufacturing steel, which is how the Pittsburgh Steelers got its name in 1940. Although the sports team was initially called the Pirates, Art Rooney wanted a better name suited to Pittsburgh’s steel mill roots.
The Steelers aren’t the only professional football team in the state. In 1943, a merger occurred between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Steelers. The temporary change was due to the war and losing team members but only lasted a year.
Electronic Fun Facts
Pennsylvania history also includes some electronic firsts. Philadelphia is known for inventing the first modern computer. In 1946, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, known as the ENIAC, became a part of history forever.
Emoticons Fun Facts
Years later, at Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Scott Fahlman invented the first emoticon in 1982. A smiley started it all, although emoticons grew in popularity in the late 1990s due to the rise of AOL Instant Messenger.
New technology evolved into the cartoon faces you know today. Now, billions of texts and emails contain emoticons daily. As a result, it’s easier to apply in-depth emotion to online conversations.
Radio Fun Facts
Pittsburg became the first commercially licensed radio station. The radio station, Westinghouse Electric’s KDKA, was officially the first to air in 1920. Radio became a new way to communicate to the masses while broadcasting news, music, and sports.
A year later, the radio station aired Willian Harding’s inaugural address. That same year, KDKA broadcasted the first play-by-play baseball game between the Pirates and Phillies.
The KDKA radio station reached many people throughout the United States and Canada. Within two years, a new wave of technology swept the nation. Over 500 radio stations popped up over the states over the next few years.
Random Fun Facts
Pennsylvania is also home to many random and fascinating facts.
Invention Fun Facts
John Behrent invented the first pianoforte in America. John lived in Philadelphia and was a German immigrant. The original piano inventor was Bartolomeo Cristofori, but Behrent was the first to create the pianoforte. The pianoforte was also known as the original piano in the United States in 1775.
Fun Facts About Christmas Trees
Another fun fact is that Indiana, Pennsylvania is home to the Christmas tree capital in America and the world. The nickname started in 1956 due to 700,000 freshly cut trees. Four years later, the same town harvested around a million trees.
As more people opted for artificial Christmas trees throughout the years, the numbers declined. However, the state is still one of the top Christmas tree farm states.
Groundhog’s Day Fun Facts
Another holiday tradition in Pennsylvania is Groundhog’s Day. A day of celebration since 1880. People from all over the nation await Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast. The town is known as the world’s weather capital. Millions look forward to seeing the groundhog’s shadow due to the grueling winter months.
The celebration of crafts, music and art shows delights the streets of Punxsutawney for two days. There are also year-round activities such as:
- Gift shop
There are also several music festivals within the state, including:
Pennsylvania’s haunted houses are for the kids who love Halloween and all things spooky. The Congelier House in Philadelphia is considered the most haunted house across America.
Pennsylvania holds fascinating fun facts that kids of all ages will love. There’s a lot to know and discover about the diverse state. From learning about the Declaration of Independence to learning about the history of baseball fields, there is something for everyone.
For younger kids, they may gravitate toward learning about the Crayola Experience. However, kids of all ages can appreciate the Philadelphia Zoo and the wildlife roaming the state.
The number of landmarks, artifacts, museums, activities, and nature spots is intriguing for the young and old. Pennsylvania is an excellent state with a rich, fascinating history worth exploring. Your kid will learn something new every day.
So, sit your kids down, learn new fun facts, or plan an upcoming family trip to Pennsylvania. The state has plenty to offer!